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Expresso Book Machine

I saw this machine at BEA in NY recently. It cracked me up!  It really is "rube goldberg"-looking - clunky, yet fascinating.  They said that there are 12 currently deployed - mostly overseas.  The longest-lived one has been in operation for about 3 years in Australia.

I know that this is just the beginning - remember when there were only 4 computers in the world and someone famously said "and we see no need for any more." (circa 1954)

I love new technology and trying to envision where it might go. I don’t believe that we’ll all have one in our homes in our lifetimes, but once they make it into the size of today’s desktop printers - who knows. But will we print books at all in another quarter century? Will we all have some type of e-reader?  Even today when my kids come to visit, Phil and I read the morning Oregonian with our cup of coffee - the kids are on their laptops sitting right next to us and chatting as they are reading the WSJ, the London Times, the NY Times — anything but the local paper and no trees were killed to accomplish their morning newspaper addiction. Who would have thought that even 20 years ago?

I think the Expresso machine is an exciting new development in the evolution of print media - it will get better over time and not be the funny-looking contraption it is today (it is slightly larger than a big, commercial copier). I can envision them in Starbucks, Borders, gift stores, maybe even resorts, hospitals, cruise ships - any place where people congregate and have time on their hands and may want to read.

But it does nothing to make our books more well known - only somewhat more accessible for impulse buys. So get doing that good marketing work and maybe one day someone will buy your book from an Expresso machine with their morning latte.


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